CASPER, Wyo. — A project to remodel Casper City Hall hit a snag in spring 2022 when bids to move forward with construction all came in significantly over budget.
While the project has been on pause, Stateline No. 7 Architects has submitted an initial redesign proposal to the city that would reduce the scope of the remodel and reduce the construction costs. On Tuesday, the Casper City Council will discuss whether to amend a contract with Stateline to complete the redesign in order to allow the project to go out to bid again in spring 2023.
Construction would begin in spring 2023 if a contractor were to be selected through a new bidding process.
The high bids received in spring 2022 were not the first obstacle for the City Hall remodel contract. Stateline No. 7 was initially hired for the design of the project on March 3, 2020, but issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions to progress.
“Due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and its impacts, the project was put on hold for a full year,” a memo from city staff states.
The City Council gave its support for resuming the project in March 2021 and about a year of design work commenced. At that time, the objectives for the project were to extend the life of the building and included an expansion of the building.
While the design for the project met the objectives the city was looking to achieve, the bids from five contractors opened in March 2022 all came at over $6 million, above the estimated project cost of $4.5 million. The City Council then rejected all bids in April based on a staff recommendation.
Stateline No. 7’s new preliminary design eliminates plans for expansion of City Hall, according to the staff memo. This is possible because the city is planning to relocate its IT Division to the Casper Business Center.
The new design proposal would reduce the estimated cost for the remodel project to around $4.6 million, according to the staff memo. $2.6 million has already been set aside for the City Hall remodel.
In order to move forward with the redesign, the City Council would need to approve a contract amendment with Stateline No. 7 in the amount of $183,821.85. Services Stateline provides would be paid out of the City Hall project budget.
The full staff memo explaining the proposal can be reviewed below: